With eyes on the next general elections, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari reshuffled the party’s central Punjab leadership on Saturday.
According to a notification issued by Bilawa’s political secretary Jameel Soomro, Chaudhary Aslam Gill had been made the party’s new president in Lahore, while Rana Farooq had been appointed as the senior vice president.
The PPP chairman appointed Israr-ul-Haq Butt as the vice president for Urban Lahore. Samina Paggawala was made deputy general secretary, while Faisal Mir was appointed as deputy information secretary Punjab, read the notification.
A party leader, seeking anonymity, said that the reshuffle in the leadership was meant to regain party’s strength in Lahore and Punjab. He added that the party’s poor performance in the recently held cantonment board elections was the main reason behind the reshuffle.
“Bilawal has instructed party’s leadership to speed up political efforts,” he said, adding that he was “angry” over the poor performance of party in cantonment board elections. He said Bilawal had expressed serious concerns during his meeting with PPP leaders from Punjab and Khyber Pakthunkhwa over their poor performance in cantonment board elections.
Last month, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari handed over the leadership of PPP Punjab to former prime minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf. He was made PPP Punjab president, while MPA Syed Hassan Murtaza was appointed as the general secretary. Shehbaz Saeed Cheema was given the role of information secretary.
After assuming the charge of the party’s top slog in Punjab, Raja Pervaiz Ashraf started making efforts to woo disgruntled party workers in order to address their grievances and garner support. He visited different workers within a month and gave his feedback to the higher leadership of the party about the challenges the party was facing in Lahore and in Punjab.
Political analysts believed that the recent reshuffle in party’s Punjab leadership came at a crucial time as the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) was mired in a myriad of challenges and its main leadership was sitting in London, giving the PPP a chance to regain its foothold in the province.